Mon. Oct 18th, 2021
 
India Might Be In The Early Stages Of An Endemic WHO

India Might Be In The Early Stages Of An Endemic: WHO

Amidst the fear of possible COVID third wave, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation Dr Soumya Swaminathan on Tuesday said the coronavirus situation in India may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity where there is a low or moderate level of transmission going on.

 

It must be noted that the endemic stage is when a population learns to live with a virus. However, it is different from the epidemic stage when the virus overwhelms a population.

 

Speaking to news website The Wire, Swaminathan said given the size of India and heterogeneity of population and immunity status in different parts of the country, it is “very very feasible” that the situation may continue like this with ups and downs in various parts of the nation.

India Might Be In The Early Stages Of An Endemic: WHO

India Might Be In The Early Stages Of An Endemic WHO
India Might Be In The Early Stages Of An Endemic WHO

 

“We may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity where low-level transmission or moderate level transmission is going on but we are not seeing the kinds of exponential growth and peaks that we saw a few months ago,” Swaminathan said.

 

She went on to say that by the end of 2022 India would be in a position to have achieved vaccine coverage, say 70 per cent, and then countries can get back to normal.

 

Dr. Swaminathan stated that as far as India is concerned that seems to be what is happening and because of the size of India and heterogeneity of population and immunity status in different parts of the country in different pockets, it is very very feasible that the situation may continue like this with ups and downs in different parts of the country, particularly where there are more susceptible population, so those groups who were perhaps less affected by first and second waves or those areas with low levels of vaccine coverage we could see peaks and troughs for the next several months,

 

Replying to a query on the time of the third wave, she said no one has a “crystal ball” and it’s impossible to predict the third wave. “It will be impossible to predict when, where the third wave will be upon us and if at all a third wave will come. However, you can make an educated guess on some of the variables that have an impact on transmission,” she said.

 

Talking about booster doses, Swaminathan said there are both scientific and moral, and ethical reasons for not rushing into boosters. “So it would also be in the self-interest of countries who have excess doses now to send those doses out through Covax to countries that desperately need them,” she said.

 

The WHO chief gave details about the vaccination passport and said that they do not believe that vaccination has to be a prerequisite at least at the global level to do things like travelling because not everyone has been given the opportunity to get vaccinated. There is so much inequity in access to vaccines, so the first thing is to get rid of the inequality then you can allow people vaccinated to relax certain measures.

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

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